Discourse / Editorials / May 1, 2008

Thoughts from the Embers: A pattern in Knox conversation

We’ve noticed what looks like a pattern with the state of conversations on campus from our perspective.

Week 0: Something happens. In the past, this has taken many forms. Proposal of the sworn officer initiative, publication of an insensitive column in TKS, John Ashcroft’s lecture, to name a few. Depending on when in the week the event occurs, some letters or columns appear in TKS. In some cases, anonymous posters appear with brief, strongly worded messages about the event.

Week 1: The first wave. A large number of columns and letters to the editor appear in response to the event. At this point, no major lines have been drawn, but multipolar arguments appear.

Week 2: The second wave. A smaller number of columns and letters appear in response to the first wave. These columns develop the arguments further. At this point, strong lines are drawn.

Week 3: Proposal. Some time between the second and third week, someone proposes a forum of some kind. In some cases, this has manifested as an actual forum, as occurred in response to the publication of our column. In others, the forum reaches the planning phase, but runs out of steam when…

Week 4 (0): Something happens. Just as before, the cycle completes when a new event (flunk day?) occurs. In most cases, the new event almost completely overshadows the old one. Sometimes, the remnant forums go forward as planned, but with minimal attendance.

From the prospective of our pages, this pattern seems to be happening on a fairly regular basis. Even now, massive rumors circulating around the campus about Flunk Day this Wednesday night make it difficult to parse the difficult issues being raised by our columnists and letter writers.

That said, we get distracted too easily. Let’s pay attention to what’s going on around us. That way, we’ll be able to FLUNK DAY FLUNK DAY FLUNK DAY something something bye.

TKS Staff


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